Goku as asexual

Goku was my first hero. He was my brother’s hero first, to be honest, but Goku was also mine. I watched the anime with my brother when he was in high school and I was in middle school and we spent our nights and weekends sparring each other as Z fighters.

My brother looks the part of a saiyan. He has black hair. He’s dedicated to training and strengthening his body. He’s male.

And yet, Goku was my hero. Even though we look nothing alike, Goku was mine. He is my belief that goodness and heroes exist. That strength of mind and discipline is just as important as strength of body. That you get back up every damn time you’re beaten down.

Dragon Ball Z perpetuates hypermasculinity. It’s a male dominated manga and anime where fighting and winning is key. As a feminist, I shouldn’t love this series. But I do. I love it more now that I’m further embracing my ace identity.

I see Goku as an asexual character.

He marries Chi-Chi and has Gohan and Goten, but he never expresses sexual interest in any sex or gender. A person can be asexual and still get married. A person can be asexual and still have sex. Sex simply isn’t that person’s primary means of navigating relationships or the world.

And while I do not believe Akira Toriyama meant to write Goku as ace, in creating a chaste hero, who (especially in Dragon Ball) has no concept of sex or sexuality, Goku can become an asexual icon. Toriyama’s intent does not matter. It is the character he created and what Goku can mean for generations of asexual people to have a hero we can see ourselves in.

This is huge for the asexual community. We do not have ace heroes of any gender to look up to! We have to scrounge and dig and create head canons just so we can claim characters as our own. I claim Goku as asexual because he’s so much more than a sexual orientation. He’s the epitome of Get Up and Try Harder. He loves his family and his friends with such an intensity that they are the world he protects. I claim Goku as asexual because love is more than sexual love and Goku is my reminder of how this love can motivate us.

Goku is my hero. One day, I hope we do not have to rely on head canons to have asexual heroes in our lives.

goku

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One thought on “Goku as asexual

  1. Hi, I recently stumbled across your post about the “Women of Dragon Ball Z,” and I was delighted to read it. I’ve been watching the animé and, although I like it otherwise, I’ve been appalled at how women are portrayed. Considering how popular the series is, there aren’t nearly enough people discussing this. Most people who are discussing the matter only seem to have noticed the most obvious problems (the usual complaint is that Pan never became a Super Saiyan in GT), or are praising the series for superficial things (yay, Bulma is a scientist!). I was relieved to see some writing on the topic by someone attuned to more subtle aspects of the series. However, I was disappointed to find that you never seem to have finished, or at least you never wrote about any of the women from DBZ except Chi-Chi. I know the post was old, but have you ever considered going back to that and writing about the other characters (Bulma, Videl, etc.), as you originally seem to have intended? It looked like your writing on the topic was going to be excellent.

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